Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's Time to Home School

As a parent, I have found no problem in using 'because' as a valid response to a question. This response has gone undefeated, until this morning...

My Son: "Mom, can I have another treat?"
Me: "No."
My Son: "Why?"
Me: "Because."
My Son: "I think I learned in kindergarten that 'because' doesn't mean anything, unless it has a sentence behind it."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

"Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
"Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfill all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son- of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given."

-"The Book of Mormon", 3 Nephi 1:13-14

Friday, December 17, 2010

Design Friday: Handel's "Messiah"

For this Christmas season, I thought it appropriate to highlight one of the undisputed most inspired and beautiful musical works- George Frideric Handel's Messiah.
Since I don't have the time to give an adequate write-up (or even plagiarize), I thought I'd direct you to this article in the December 2010 Ensign. (It even includes a video of the MoTab singing the Hallelujah chorus). I especially enjoyed the "Lessons from Handel's Life" at the end. Particularly having confidence enough in our abilities to accept criticism, and learning to recognize and act on inspiration given to us from heaven. What I admire most about revolutionary designers and artists is their confidence in their own style, as they face criticism from rejecting what is generally accepted. Almost always, their works are not immediately accepted but they remain confident and ultimately transform their field of work.
I also believe that revelation is not reserved merely for inspiring us to swing by some one's house, or giving someone a phone call. As we strive to create, we are entitled to receive revelation as well. After all, as Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. This is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Answers for the Santa Question

Here is an article, "Yes Mark, there Really is a Santa", that a reader directed me to last year. I haven't needed it yet, but it's good to be prepared. Do you know of other good responses to The Question"?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

During the Christmas season, we yearn to establish family traditions and make lasting memories. We remember with fondness the feelings we experienced as children during this magical time of year- smells, food, music, decorations. What we didn't realize as children, is that for the adults, these memories are accompanied with a generous helping of stress.
My husband and I decided that decorating our tree would be a great activity for Family Home Evening this week. I found a story explaining the symbols of Christmas, and decided it would be a great way to tie in a remembrance of Christ. With each symbol, I would have my son take a coordinating ornament and hang it on the tree. Then, with Christmas music playing softly in the background, we would decorate the tree and laugh and reminisce over each ornament and the story behind it. We would then bask in the glow of our tree while nibbling on Joe-Joe's and sipping on eggnog. What a cozy scene....
In reality, when the time came for Family Home Evening, my baby girl was experiencing great discomfort and was only happy laying on her tummy on my knee while I bounced her. My husband had strained his back earlier that day and was unable to bend from the waist up without experience excruciating pain, let alone hold/comfort said baby. Therefore, the lesson was relegated to him. The lesson did not go as smoothly as anticipated (do we really not own one ornament with a candy cane?), but was fine. When it was time to decorate the rest of tree, my son's enthusiasm was uncontainable. A box was tipped over, ornaments nearly crushed, and bubble wrap and tissue paper strewn about. I handed out ornaments while I bounced my squirmy, baby girl. There was little time for reminiscing. Our normally delightful Christmas music began to annoy me. By the time we were done, my voice had found the forced happy tone that all mom's know (which only a trained ear can discern the volcano of anxiety and stress it is capping).
Reaching and putting ornaments on the tree proved too much for my husband's back. He sat and held the now calm baby while I prepared the refreshments. I did not care about cuteness anymore. I served the Joe-Joe's from their package. My husband drank his egg nog in the living room, while my son and I ate ours at the table. Things didn't go quite as planned, but it was over. Thank heavens.
Upon reflecting on this evening, I was sad that I did not enjoy the moment as I had hoped. As I wondered where things went wrong, I realized that what I experienced was probably not abnormal. I have crossed the threshold into adulthood. Sadly, being in charge of making memories is much more stressful than going along for the ride. But, I don't worry. Most importantly, I know in my son's eyes that it was a success. (I know this because during a seven day vacation this year, that included New York City, Niagara Falls, and Palmyra, his favorite part of the trip was swimming at our hotel pool). So I say, during this month give yourself the gift of simplicity. Hopefully, then we can enjoy the memories a little too. Until something breaks

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Goldfish is People!

"They're making our food out of people. Goldfish is made out of people! We've got to stop them somehow!"

Anyone know the movie??

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913

A frosty Christmas Eve, when the stars were shining,
I traveled for the home, where westward falls the hill.
And for many, many a village, in the darkness of the valley,
distant music reached me, peels of bells were ringing.

Then spread my thoughts to olden times, to that first of Christmases
when shepherds who were watching, heard music in the fields.
And they sat there and they marveled,
and they knew they could not tell
whether it were angels, or the bright stars a singing.

But to me heard a far, it was starry music,
the singing of the angels, the comfort of our Lord.
Words of old that come a traveling, by the riches of the times,
and I softly listened, as I stood upon the hill.
And I softly listened, as I stood upon the hill.

- Robert Bridges

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Graduation

My husband and I have graduated into a new level of parenthood. Tonight our son dubbed us, "Mean". Now I feel like a real parent.